Egyptian media are reporting that Muslim Brotherhood leaders were caught trying to leave the country as officials warned that the banned group was fomenting a terrorist attack.
On Monday evening, Egyptian state TV carried a statement issued by Egypt’s security services claiming that they had foiled Muslim Brotherhood plans to “form a terrorist cell to gather intelligence about different security apparatuses” in Egypt to send it to the “international Muslim Brotherhood organization and foreign parties,” reported Al-Ahram.
Mahmoud Ghozlan, former leading member of the Brotherhood’s guidance office, Abdel Rahman El-Bar, the Islamist group’s mufti, and two others were arrested inside an apartment in 6 October city, Al-Ahram said. They were reportedly about to flee to Sudan.
El-Bar was sentenced to death in absentia last year. Former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was handed a preliminary death sentence last month for his role in the bloody 2011 Natroun jailbreak that allowed Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah prisoners to escape. The final verdict is expected June 16.
The Taliban has called upon every “influential” Muslim to try to save Mohamed Morsi from the death penalty in Egypt. Terrorist attacks have already increased in the restive Sinai peninsula since Morsi’s sentencing.
Both Ghozlan and El-Bar have been on the run since Morsi’s ouster, and were thought to be in Turkey or Qatar.
“Dr. Mahmoud Ghozlan & Dr. Abdel Rahman al Bar, members of Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, have been arrested by Sisi’s security forces,” the Muslim Brotherhood confirmed in a tweet.